Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-31-2017, 10:48 PM
FishyOne FishyOne is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Posts: 126
Likes: 21
Liked 49 Times in 26 Posts
Default Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads

I have a quick question and hope you guys can help. I own this LNIB Llama Martial 38 Special. It was made around 1970 and the advertisement below is for this gun.

Were the old 38 Special High-Speed loads the equivalent of todays +P loads or were they hotter like 38/44 loads? Any idea what kind of pressures they're talking about? Thanks in advance.



Last edited by FishyOne; 03-31-2017 at 10:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-31-2017, 10:58 PM
Mike in Reedley Mike in Reedley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Reedley Ca. U.S.A
Posts: 206
Likes: 7
Liked 217 Times in 95 Posts
Default

Since they list Mid-range and high speed, I would think high speed is a fancy phrase for regular 38 Special.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 03-31-2017, 11:09 PM
lebomm lebomm is online now
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,741
Likes: 35
Liked 637 Times in 387 Posts
Default

For a long time, ".38 Special Hi-Speed" meant the .38-44 load, but after the advent of the .357 Mag, that load started to wane in popularity, so the commonest loads available were the "midrange wadcutter", a 148 gr or so at about 650-700 fps, and the standard or "service load", a 158-160 lead bullet @ 800-850 fps, which began to be called "high speed" just to distinguish it from the wadcutters. Today's .38 +P loads are usually little more than the older "service level" load, only 1or 2 coming anywhere close to the .38-44. My guess would be that the Llama recommendations are for wadcutters or service ammo.
Is that clear as mud ? Anyway, that's how I've read it after my 50-odd years as a shooter. Others may have different takes.

Larry

Last edited by lebomm; 03-31-2017 at 11:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 04-01-2017, 01:22 AM
Brasso4 Brasso4 is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 58
Likes: 6
Liked 49 Times in 29 Posts
Default

I'm guessing that no major manufacturers load the .38 special anywhere close to full pressure. I suspect that even most +p loads are barely at full power for a standard load. Probably under.

There are too many old guns out there and the big guys are scared to death of lawsuits.

This is true of most other calibers as well. We all know the .357mag is underloaded from the factory. Has been for decades. The .357sig started out as a barn burner. Can't find any of those original loads anymore either.
__________________
Qoheleth 12:13-14

Last edited by Brasso4; 04-01-2017 at 01:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #5  
Old 04-01-2017, 03:05 AM
rwsmith's Avatar
rwsmith rwsmith is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 21,210
Likes: 24,901
Liked 16,986 Times in 8,494 Posts
Default I don't know if you want to hear from reloaders....

...but if you want to get tuff loads unless you can afford Buffalo Bore, Cor-bon or some 'boutique' loads, the only way is to load them yourself. With liabilities the way they are the best way is to do it yourself. Even most bought .357 ammo seems like about 3/4 speed of what it's capable of.
__________________
"He was kinda funny lookin'"

Last edited by rwsmith; 04-01-2017 at 03:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-01-2017, 04:35 AM
M E Morrison M E Morrison is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mercer County, PA, USA
Posts: 1,393
Likes: 12,871
Liked 1,486 Times in 748 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasso4 View Post
I'm guessing that no major manufacturers load the .38 special anywhere close to full pressure. I suspect that even most +p loads are barely at full power for a standard load. Probably under.

There are too many old guns out there and the big guys are scared to death of lawsuits.

This is true of most other calibers as well. We all know the .357mag is underloaded from the factory. Has been for decades. The .357sig started out as a barn burner. Can't find any of those original loads anymore either.
Unless you go to Buffalo Bore or another boutique company.....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-01-2017, 09:36 AM
Brasso4 Brasso4 is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 58
Likes: 6
Liked 49 Times in 29 Posts
Default

I can reload. The equipment is still set up and ready to go, I just don't have the motivation anymore that I used to. For the limited amount of shooting I do these days it's easier to just buy a box every once in a while.
__________________
Qoheleth 12:13-14
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #8  
Old 04-01-2017, 10:07 AM
FishyOne FishyOne is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Posts: 126
Likes: 21
Liked 49 Times in 26 Posts
Default

Thanks to all for the input. Sounds as if "Hi-Speed" really means standard loads.

I've fired Buffalo Bore's 20C which is Std Pressure Heavy 38 Special, 158g LSWC-HP @ 850fps. They actually state this load hits 1000fps out of a 4" barrel which is what my Llama has. Sounds like that is as hot as I should go since it's what most big guys load their +P to I think.

I appreciate everyone's input.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #9  
Old 04-02-2017, 11:27 AM
kaaskop49 kaaskop49 is online now
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Demon-class planet
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 17,472
Liked 4,891 Times in 2,331 Posts
Default attn FishyOne

That Llama is a nice gun. They had a decent reputation in the early 70s. It should do well with standard velocity loads if you're hinky about using +P. Me, I don't eat red-hot foods, but I love red-hot ammo, if in moderation.

Kaaskop49
Shield #5103
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-03-2017, 01:11 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 19,225
Likes: 2
Liked 9,976 Times in 5,720 Posts
Default

Hi-Speed is Remington-speak for .38-44. And so is Super Speed (Winchester) and Super-X (Western). None of those have been loaded since the early 1970s. If you want to use those, the only way is to find some antique ammo or roll your own.

I had a Llama .38 Special revolver (2") many years ago, and it was a good gun. Very much like a K-frame S&W except for an in-frame firing pin. Sort of sorry I sold it over 20 years ago.

Last edited by DWalt; 04-03-2017 at 01:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 04-25-2017, 11:18 AM
M E Morrison M E Morrison is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mercer County, PA, USA
Posts: 1,393
Likes: 12,871
Liked 1,486 Times in 748 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Hi-Speed is Remington-speak for .38-44. And so is Super Speed (Winchester) and Super-X (Western). None of those have been loaded since the early 1970s. If you want to use those, the only way is to find some antique ammo or roll your own.

I had a Llama .38 Special revolver (2") many years ago, and it was a good gun. Very much like a K-frame S&W except for an in-frame firing pin. Sort of sorry I sold it over 20 years ago.

Maybe not - check out boutique companies such as Buffalo Bore.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-25-2017, 01:33 PM
franzas's Avatar
franzas franzas is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 566
Likes: 373
Liked 318 Times in 168 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasso4 View Post
I'm guessing that no major manufacturers load the .38 special anywhere close to full pressure. I suspect that even most +p loads are barely at full power for a standard load. Probably under.
This is what I think, too.

Even the reloading data is weak. Some standard .38 data is way under max pressure and some +P is just barely over (a couple hundred PSI).

Sad, really.
__________________
an actual conservative
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #13  
Old 04-25-2017, 02:18 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 19,225
Likes: 2
Liked 9,976 Times in 5,720 Posts
Default

Regarding the old original .38-44 cartridge, I have never seen any peak chamber pressure data for it. Using Quickload as a rough indicator, its peak chamber pressure calculates to be at least 25K psi, somewhat in excess of the SAAMI max pressure of the .38 Special +P, which I think is around 19K psi.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #14  
Old 04-25-2017, 06:32 PM
kaaskop49 kaaskop49 is online now
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Demon-class planet
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 17,472
Liked 4,891 Times in 2,331 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Regarding the old original .38-44 cartridge, I have never seen any peak chamber pressure data for it. Using Quickload as a rough indicator, its peak chamber pressure calculates to be at least 25K psi, somewhat in excess of the SAAMI max pressure of the .38 Special +P, which I think is around 19K psi.
DWalt: You know your .38-44s! It was a humdinger, that's for sure, much like the original "pre +Ps" of the '65 (SuperVel) to '74 (IIRC) era. Not to flog an awfully dead horse, but today's .38 LHP +P is a far cry from that load as originally developed around 1970.

Kaaskop49
Shield #5103

P.S. R-P did produce a 158gr RN +P .38 load into the early 80s. Have a few rounds of it sitting around somewhere. As I recall, nothing close to the earlier .38-44.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-25-2017, 09:58 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 19,225
Likes: 2
Liked 9,976 Times in 5,720 Posts
Default

"P.S. R-P did produce a 158gr RN +P .38 load into the early 80s. Have a few rounds of it sitting around somewhere. As I recall, nothing close to the earlier .38-44. "

I think a 158 grain +P is still loaded by the usual sources in numerous bullet types, just not too often seen on shelves. Easy to duplicate the old .38-44 load by reloading using 2400 or similar. However, much of the original factory .38-44 ammo used a metal capped bullet, not FMJ. I have no idea how one would find metal capped bullets today.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #16  
Old 04-25-2017, 11:32 PM
Alk8944's Avatar
Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sandy Utah
Posts: 5,806
Likes: 513
Liked 3,184 Times in 1,539 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyOne View Post
Sounds as if "Hi-Speed" really means standard loads.
Sort of! Remington marks most of it's ammunition as Hi Speed on the box, even .32 S&W. Generally though you can depend on this:

If the box is marked Hi (or High) Speed, but the individual case head stamps are not, it will be standard pressure loads.

If the case head stamp includes "Hi-Speed" it will be an older .38-44 load! Some .357 Magnum was also head stamped Hi-Speed too.
__________________
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #17  
Old 04-26-2017, 01:27 AM
rwsmith's Avatar
rwsmith rwsmith is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 21,210
Likes: 24,901
Liked 16,986 Times in 8,494 Posts
Default in 1980 I could tell....

I could tell a big difference in standard and +P ammo. I don't think they were max but they had much more authority. Today a +P is enough to feel the difference, but not by much.

I found some .38 loads in a Sierra manual from about that time and they were substantially higher than most manuals today allow. Having a model 10 in good shape I started working up to the load and actually felt I should drop back some before I got halfway up. I don't think it was unsafe, but they were startlingly more hot that I was used to.
__________________
"He was kinda funny lookin'"

Last edited by rwsmith; 04-26-2017 at 01:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #18  
Old 04-26-2017, 03:23 AM
kaaskop49 kaaskop49 is online now
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Demon-class planet
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 17,472
Liked 4,891 Times in 2,331 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
I could tell a big difference in standard and +P ammo. I don't think they were max but they had much more authority. Today a +P is enough to feel the difference, but not by much.

I found some .38 loads in a Sierra manual from about that time and they were substantially higher than most manuals today allow. Having a model 10 in good shape I started working up to the load and actually felt I should drop back some before I got halfway up. I don't think it was unsafe, but they were startlingly more hot that I was used to.
^^^^what he said. When touching off a +P or a "Pre +P" in the early 70s, you always felt that the cylinder would expand sideways. We would limit ourselves to 1 or 2 cylinder-fulls, not from cost, rather from possible perceived strain on the gun.

Kaaskop49
Shield #5103
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #19  
Old 04-26-2017, 09:12 AM
M E Morrison M E Morrison is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mercer County, PA, USA
Posts: 1,393
Likes: 12,871
Liked 1,486 Times in 748 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
I could tell a big difference in standard and +P ammo. I don't think they were max but they had much more authority. Today a +P is enough to feel the difference, but not by much.

I found some .38 loads in a Sierra manual from about that time and they were substantially higher than most manuals today allow. Having a model 10 in good shape I started working up to the load and actually felt I should drop back some before I got halfway up. I don't think it was unsafe, but they were startlingly more hot that I was used to.

38/44 loads were intended for N frames - I think you were pushing your luck using a K frame.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #20  
Old 04-26-2017, 11:20 AM
kaaskop49 kaaskop49 is online now
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Demon-class planet
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 17,472
Liked 4,891 Times in 2,331 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M E Morrison View Post
38/44 loads were intended for N frames - I think you were pushing your luck using a K frame.
Well said! And yet, the 60s-era S&W catalogs listed acceptable cartridges for each model. The .38-44, IIRC, was listed as safe to be fired in the steel frame Chiefs Special.

Just not comfortably, but they don't say that! Good shooting to you!

Kaaskop49
Shield #5103
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #21  
Old 04-26-2017, 02:46 PM
franzas's Avatar
franzas franzas is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 566
Likes: 373
Liked 318 Times in 168 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M E Morrison View Post
38/44 loads were intended for N frames - I think you were pushing your luck using a K frame.
This is what I don't understand. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Folks tend to say that .38-44 should only be used in N frame revolvers or .357 -chambered guns, including K and J frames. This may have been true before S&W changed the heat treatment in the '30s, but in modern revolvers, I can't figure.

Now from what I've read the .38-44 is on the order of 25,000 psi (+P+ pressure) while the .357 is 35,000 psi. Also, I have read that the metallurgy and heat treatment is the same between the magnum and non-magnum frames, simply, the K frame is just the frame. the only difference is the cylinder, i.e. chambers.

So, my question is- how do people recommend shooting .357 in K frames or .38-44 in .357 K frames but not in a modern (model-numbered) .38 special revolver?

If the frame is exactly the same, how is a .38 special +P+ somehow more damaging and/or dangerous to a model 10 than .357 is to a model 13?
__________________
an actual conservative

Last edited by franzas; 04-26-2017 at 02:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #22  
Old 04-26-2017, 03:55 PM
rwsmith's Avatar
rwsmith rwsmith is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 21,210
Likes: 24,901
Liked 16,986 Times in 8,494 Posts
Default It was in no way labeled.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by M E Morrison View Post
38/44 loads were intended for N frames - I think you were pushing your luck using a K frame.
It was in no way labeled 38/44, Super, Hi velocity or Hellfire in the Sierra manual. It was 38 special. I'll check and if I'm wrong I'll gt back to you. But like I said, I didn't get very high on the chart until I decided to go back the other way.

One load that I remember off the top of my head was 125 gr JHP with 7 grains of Unique. Most books nowadays only go up to 6 grains of Unique. I don't need to go that high because they are too hot for SD loads in an alloy J frame, or even my steel J frame. That would be more painful than I'd like, both for me and the guns.
__________________
"He was kinda funny lookin'"
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-26-2017, 04:03 PM
M E Morrison M E Morrison is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mercer County, PA, USA
Posts: 1,393
Likes: 12,871
Liked 1,486 Times in 748 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by franzas View Post
This is what I don't understand. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Folks tend to say that .38-44 should only be used in N frame revolvers or .357 -chambered guns, including K and J frames. This may have been true before S&W changed the heat treatment in the '30s, but in modern revolvers, I can't figure.

Now from what I've read the .38-44 is on the order of 25,000 psi (+P+ pressure) while the .357 is 35,000 psi. Also, I have read that the metallurgy and heat treatment is the same between the magnum and non-magnum frames, simply, the K frame is just the frame. the only difference is the cylinder, i.e. chambers.

So, my question is- how do people recommend shooting .357 in K frames or .38-44 in .357 K frames but not in a modern (model-numbered) .38 special revolver?

If the frame is exactly the same, how is a .38 special +P+ somehow more damaging and/or dangerous to a model 10 than .357 is to a model 13?

There's part of your answer - putting that pressure level thru a non-magnum K frame will wear it a lot faster than sticking to standard (or even +P) loads. That does not mean the gun will "blow up". I have seen a few cylinders split from hot loads in both non magnum K frames & J frames - but the most likely product will be a gun that gets "loose" and needs rebuilt.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #24  
Old 04-26-2017, 05:30 PM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
SWCA Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Battery Oaks Range, S.C.
Posts: 1,668
Likes: 5,027
Liked 2,904 Times in 1,013 Posts
Default

Jeff Cooper had a 158 SWC that he said went 1,000 FPS out of his model 60. A reader wrote in to tell him to be very careful, that load might just blow up his gun. Cooper's answer was "THAT never was a consideration".
__________________
Carry and shoot everyday!
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-26-2017, 05:54 PM
Walkingwolf Walkingwolf is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 400
Likes: 289
Liked 283 Times in 176 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by franzas View Post
This is what I don't understand. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Folks tend to say that .38-44 should only be used in N frame revolvers or .357 -chambered guns, including K and J frames. This may have been true before S&W changed the heat treatment in the '30s, but in modern revolvers, I can't figure.

Now from what I've read the .38-44 is on the order of 25,000 psi (+P+ pressure) while the .357 is 35,000 psi. Also, I have read that the metallurgy and heat treatment is the same between the magnum and non-magnum frames, simply, the K frame is just the frame. the only difference is the cylinder, i.e. chambers.

So, my question is- how do people recommend shooting .357 in K frames or .38-44 in .357 K frames but not in a modern (model-numbered) .38 special revolver?

If the frame is exactly the same, how is a .38 special +P+ somehow more damaging and/or dangerous to a model 10 than .357 is to a model 13?
Supposedly the heat treatment is different, but that does not make much sense as far as production costs. Employees from Ruger have stated that all Ruger revolvers get the same standard. I would think we would get the same answer from a Smith employee willing to stick their neck out.

I knew a detective 4 decades ago that carried factory 38-44 in his model 36. He didn't shoot it regularly, but it was his carry ammo. He was involved in at least one shooting with it, and his 36.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #26  
Old 04-26-2017, 06:05 PM
lebomm lebomm is online now
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,741
Likes: 35
Liked 637 Times in 387 Posts
Default

Didn't S&W, at one time anyway, specifically state that the .38-44 was acceptable in the M&P revolver ?

Larry
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #27  
Old 04-26-2017, 06:18 PM
franzas's Avatar
franzas franzas is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 566
Likes: 373
Liked 318 Times in 168 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M E Morrison View Post
There's part of your answer - putting that pressure level thru a non-magnum K frame will wear it a lot faster than sticking to standard (or even +P) loads. That does not mean the gun will "blow up". I have seen a few cylinders split from hot loads in both non magnum K frames & J frames - but the most likely product will be a gun that gets "loose" and needs rebuilt.
I agree it will wear the revolver faster. As with .357s, I would wager the .38-44s are perfectly safe to shoot, but don't feed your revolver a steady diet of them. I have a hard time believing shooting a few cylinders of .38-44 to familiarize yourself for a woods or SD load would be instant gun kaboom death.

S&W even recommended against using .357s in K frames regularly. I think the same would apply to .38-44s. I'm not really a big fan of .357s in K frames anyway, but I feel a stout .38 +P+ would be a nice compromise for those with a .38 special that don't want to or can't afford to step up to an L or N frame.

IN MY OPINION, I bet in a side-by-side torture test of a 13 shooting full house .357s would wear out faster than a 10 shooting .38-44s.
__________________
an actual conservative
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-26-2017, 06:21 PM
franzas's Avatar
franzas franzas is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 566
Likes: 373
Liked 318 Times in 168 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkingwolf View Post
Supposedly the heat treatment is different, but that does not make much sense as far as production costs. Employees from Ruger have stated that all Ruger revolvers get the same standard. I would think we would get the same answer from a Smith employee willing to stick their neck out.

I knew a detective 4 decades ago that carried factory 38-44 in his model 36. He didn't shoot it regularly, but it was his carry ammo. He was involved in at least one shooting with it, and his 36.
I'd love for someone from the Historical Foundation (or an employee, as mentioned) to weigh in on this.

If the heat treatment is in fact different, I retract my previous comments. I have read that it isn't, thus my assumptions.
__________________
an actual conservative
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-26-2017, 07:28 PM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,130
Likes: 13,450
Liked 8,245 Times in 4,096 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by franzas View Post
I'd love for someone from the Historical Foundation (or an employee, as mentioned) to weigh in on this.

If the heat treatment is in fact different, I retract my previous comments. I have read that it isn't, thus my assumptions.




Because S&W will not release the heat treat data, the question is unanswereable.


However, many years ago, I wrote to the firm about safety in firing .38-44 in a Model 10 . Sales Manager Fred Miller advised that it wouldn't detonate the gun, but would considerabley accelerate wear, and he advised using a .357 Magnum or a .38-44 gun if I expected to fire much .38-44 ammo.


Colt once sanctioned/listed this ammo for the Police Positive Special and Detective Special. I feel sure they were after the ad value of being able to list the hot ammo for those small .38's. I'm sure they didn't mean to infer they could routinely fire it without excessive wear.


I would NOT infer anything about S&W based on what Ruger does. S&W has always said that their .357 guns have special steels and heat treatments. I believe them. Frame treatments may not vary, but cylinders certainly do. Maybe barrels, too. I do think the hot .38-44 class loads make sense in K-frame .357 guns. Ample power for most needs, and not as hard on the guns as .357 ammo.


But I favor full .357 loads for animals larger than a coyote. I think humans will usually drop to hot .38 ammo with expanding bullets, like the .38-44 level Buffalo Bore ammo.

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-26-2017 at 07:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #30  
Old 04-26-2017, 08:36 PM
Walkingwolf Walkingwolf is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 400
Likes: 289
Liked 283 Times in 176 Posts
Default

I am guessing that S&W does not individually heat treat frames, and cylinders, barrels. It would be too costly, it does not make sense. I do believe that when the 19 was introduced they used treating to take the gun to the level for mild 357 use.

Car manufacturers used to use different sub frames for different models, that practice for the most part has been long gone. Most companies operate to make as much money as they can. They balance this with quality, and cutting costs. Thus the reason for MIM parts. It is not because MIM parts are better, or worse. It is because they can still offer quality gun at a price they can make money, and the customer can afford.

It comes always to follow the money.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 04-26-2017, 11:58 PM
franzas's Avatar
franzas franzas is offline
Member
Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads Old 38 Special High-Speed Loads  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 566
Likes: 373
Liked 318 Times in 168 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
I would NOT infer anything about S&W based on what Ruger does. S&W has always said that their .357 guns have special steels and heat treatments. I believe them. Frame treatments may not vary, but cylinders certainly do. Maybe barrels, too. I do think the hot .38-44 class loads make sense in K-frame .357 guns. Ample power for most needs, and not as hard on the guns as .357 ammo.
Didn't think about that one. Thank you.
__________________
an actual conservative
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
38 Special Hi-Speed or 38 Special Super X factory loads 38SPL HV Ammo 1 05-04-2016 11:33 PM
High Speed Hammer DWalt S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 7 12-10-2014 06:08 AM
38 special high speed ammo HappyHunter WANTED to Buy 1 11-01-2013 09:16 PM
You mean there is a HIGH SPEED Internet?! USAF385 The Lounge 19 04-08-2013 12:11 AM
HIGH SPEED pursuit - any special training?? Bekeart The Lounge 30 07-29-2009 04:40 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:33 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)